THE Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (Pampi) has assured Filipino consumers that processed meats and meat products are free from the African Swine Fever (ASF).
"We assure and guarantee our consumers that we do not import pork materials from countries that have been infected by the ASF virus," said Pampi president Felix O. Tiukinhoy Jr.
Pampi stated that for local supply, they purchase only pork cuts that have been certified by the National Meat Inspection Service to be free from any disease.
The group of leading manufacturers of meat products added that they strictly adhere to internationally accepted and recognized standards of food safety and manufacturing practices.
"All our cooked and/or smoked processed meat products are subjected to temperatures ranging from 70 to 116 degrees Celsius for 40 to 60 minutes. At these high temperatures, harmful bacteria and viruses, including ASF virus if any, are killed and destroyed," Pampi said.
"Hence, our processed meat products cannot be carriers of the ASF virus," it said.
ASF is a virus that is contagious to pigs but is not communicable to humans.
Pampi expressed its full support to the efforts of the national government and private sector to contain and eradicate ASF in the country.
"Unfortunately, during the past two weeks, the movement, distribution, and sale of processed meat products were banned by some local government units (LGUs) on the mistaken belief and unfounded fear that they will cause harm to their hog raisers. However, such move has absolutely no basis in fact and science," Tiukinhoy said.
Pampi asked the local government units (LGUs) to take a second look and consider lifting the ban immediately.
The group made the appeal after several LGUs insisted on imposing an unnecessary and unwarranted ban on the movement, distribution, and sale of processed meats/pork-based products in their respective jurisdictions amid the threat of ASF.
"We also appeal to the national government to promptly issue unified and coordinated guidelines for adoption by all LGUs on the movement, distribution, and sale of pork products, both raw and processed, to avoid disruption of trade and damage to the economy," it said.
"Finally, we extend our appreciation and thanks to President Duterte and members of his Cabinet for recognizing the P300-billion meat processing industry as partner and driver of economic growth during his term," Pampi added.